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NBC Shuffles ‘This Is Us’ Season Finale, ‘Trial & Error’ Launch To Accommodate Donald Trump’s “SOTU” Address

Deadline logo Deadline 2/8/2017 Lisa de Moraes
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Broadcast networks are shuffling schedules to make way for President Donald Trump’s first address before the joint session of Congress which was announced to take place February 28. Coverage of Trump’s speech, which, for a new POTUS is not called State of the Union Address, is scheduled to start at 9 PM ET.

Big question among broadcasters: how long will this most unconventional POTUS speak. On January 31, POTUS’ primetime special unveiling the winner of Extreme Makeover: SCOTUS Edition caught broadcasters by surprise in that he spoke far more briefly than they had expected. TV brass have learned that, when Trump speaks via teleprompter, he tends to speak more quickly. This being Donald Trump, his address could run 20 minutes – or closer to the hour that is usual for these addresses.

According to insiders, ABC has booked 9-11 PM for Trump’s speech. Fox has booked 9-10:30 PM. CBS has set aside 9-10:30PM ET to cover the address, as is NBC, which would join The Wall in progress.

NBC would seem to be most impacted because it’s having to move some bigger shows. The network said today some of the scheduling ripple effect of Trump’s speech date:

The network’s season finale of This is Us has now been scheduled for Tuesday, March 14, 9-10 PM ET/PT. NBC’s series premiere of Trial & Error now is scheduled for same night, 10-11 PM with back-to-back episodes. And original episode of Chicago Justice will air on Tuesday, March 7 at 10 PM, immediately following the penultimate episode of This Is Us.

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